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Improving software product integration
Mälardalen University, Department of Computer Science and Electronics.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-0921-0878
2005 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

The idea with product integration is that separate components are combined into a working system. However, this process of assembling parts into bigger units, products and systems is not well performed in industry, especially not when a substantial part of the product functionality is implemented in software. Many faults that are introduced in early phases are found as late as in the product integration phase, or even worse, in the verification or validation of the final delivery, or after delivery of the product or system. This leads to high costs for error correction and additional efforts for re-testing. There is consequently a need to further investigate the area of product integration to understand how the performance can be improved. Different practices have been described in standards and models, but the area is still under development. No widely agreed upon body-of-knowledge has so far been defined for product integration. A large part of the development of products containing software for industrial use is conducted in small or medium sized teams. This requires that any data collection methods used to acquire reliable information regarding performance in a project or organization minimize the intrusion. A facilitating approach was needed to understand how units with distinct characteristics should be approached. Based on several years of interaction with different types of organization, the presented research includes an analysis of various methods for data collection. The result is a proposed method for selecting different sizes of investigations based on the openness and maturity of the organization. The main purpose of this research is to understand which factors influence the integration process and what can be done to improve the execution of it. It includes investigations to understand if the described best practices are appropriate, and if there are other means to achieve successful product integration. The research combines investigations of existing compilations of best practices with case studies in industry. Our conclusion is that the type of organization that we have investigated can reduce problems in the product integration process by following the basic practices described in standards and reference models. Problems found in product integration can in most cases be related to the fact that the organization does not follow the proposed practices. The investigations have revealed that the practices are not used in a sufficient way, that additional efforts must be put into fulfilling the requirements in standards and models, and that it is difficult to implement the practices. We have also found indications that specific technology, component based software, may assist in executing the practices. Finally, we conclude that not all standards and models include support to avoid all types of problems in product integration. This is an indication that the on-going development of the area is necessary and that an increased agreement on what can be considered to be best practices is needed.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Västerås: Institutionen för Datavetenskap och Elektronik , 2005. , 108 p.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Licentiate Theses, ISSN 1651-9256 ; 51
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-41ISBN: 91-88834-65-4 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-41DiVA: diva2:120904
Available from: 2005-11-18 Created: 2005-11-18 Last updated: 2013-12-19
List of papers
1. Are limited non-intrusive CMMI-based appraisals enough?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Are limited non-intrusive CMMI-based appraisals enough?
2003 (English)In: Proceedings of the ESEIW 2003 Workshop on Empirical Studies in Software Engineering WSESE 2003, 2003Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

An integral part of the strategy for performance improvement within the product development at ABB is the use of CMMI-based appraisals. Each appraisal represents an investment by the organization to lay the best possible foundation for improvements. The challenge is to balance the investment, the intrusiveness and the benefits. Depending on different organizational characteristics, different kinds of appraisals should be used. All appraisals are driven by data collection and consequently the quality of an appraisal depends on the data collection methods used. In this paper we outline strategies used in ABB for selection of appropriate CMMI appraisals and data collection methods. Early results indicate that the use of a series of appraisals can be a way to overcome the resistance in an organization. We also claim that a discussion is needed on the reliability and validity of the appraisal methodologies and on the feasibility to base decisions regarding process improvement strategies on appraisal results.

National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4114 (URN)
Available from: 2005-11-18 Created: 2005-11-18 Last updated: 2015-06-30Bibliographically approved
2. Selecting CMMI appraisal classes based on maturity and openness
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Selecting CMMI appraisal classes based on maturity and openness
2004 (English)In: Product Focused Software Process Improvement: Lecture Notes in Computer Science Volume, 3009, Springer, 2004, 457-470 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Over the last eight years, different approaches have been used to diagnose the performance in ABB organizations developing software. The efforts build to a large degree on methods from the Software Engineering Institute (SEI). In this paper we examine the experiences from five organizations through a description of the pathways that we have observed in the maturity development. We also propose a way to classify organizations based on two organizational characteristics, maturity and openness. Based on this classification, a simple method for the selection of how to collect performance data from the organizations is described.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2004
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 3009
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4115 (URN)10.1007/978-3-540-24659-6_33 (DOI)978-3-540-21421-2 (ISBN)
Available from: 2005-11-18 Created: 2005-11-18 Last updated: 2014-01-08Bibliographically approved
3. On the expected synergies between component-based software engineering and best practices in production integration
Open this publication in new window or tab >>On the expected synergies between component-based software engineering and best practices in production integration
2004 (English)In: Proceeding EUROMICRO '04 Proceedings of the 30th EUROMICRO Conference, 2004, 430-436 p.Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

The expectations for a well working integration process are described in the Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI). Often during the integration process, weaknesses of the entire development process become visible. This is usually too late and too costly. Particular development processes and use of particular technologies may help to improve the performance of the integration process by providing proper input to it. For example, by the use of a component-based approach, the development process changes. Some of these changes may help in performing according to the process expectations. In this paper, examples of problems that have been observed in the integration process are described. Through a case study we describe a number of practical problems in current development projects. Based on this case study, we analyze how a component-based approach could help and lead to a more effective integration process.

National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4116 (URN)10.1109/EUROMICRO.2004.63 (DOI)0-7695-2199-1 (ISBN)
Available from: 2005-11-18 Created: 2005-11-18 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved
4. Case study: Software product integration practices
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Case study: Software product integration practices
2005 (English)In: Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol. 3457, Springer, 2005, 272-285 p.Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Organizations often encounter problems in the Product Integration process. The difficulties include finding errors at integration related to mismatch between the different components and problems in other parts of the system than the one that was changed. The question is if these problems can be decreased if the awareness of the integration process is increased in other activities. To get better understanding of this problem we have analyzed the integration process in two product development organizations. One of the organizations has two different groups with slightly different integration routines while the other is basing the development on well defined components. The obstacles found in product integration are highlighted and related to best practices as described in the interim standard EIA-731.1. Our conclusion from this study is that the current descriptions for best practices in product integration are available in standards and models, but are insufficiently used and can be supported by technology to be accepted and utilized by the product developers

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer, 2005
Series
Lecture Notes in Computer Science, ISSN 0302-9743 ; 3457
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4117 (URN)10.1007/11497455_23 (DOI)978-3-540-26200-8 (ISBN)978-3-540-31640-4 (ISBN)
Note

6th International Conference on Product Focused Software Process Improvement, PROFES 2005; Oulu ;13 June 2005 through 18 June 2005

Available from: 2005-11-18 Created: 2005-11-18 Last updated: 2013-12-19Bibliographically approved
5. Expected influence of ethics on product development process
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Expected influence of ethics on product development process
2006 (English)In: tripleC: Communication, Capitalism & Critique, ISSN 1726-670X, Vol. 4, no 2Article in journal (Other academic) Published
Abstract [en]

Product development efficiency and effectiveness is depending on a process being well executed. The actions of individuals included in the processes are influenced by the ethical and moral orientations that have been selected by each individual, whether this selection is conscious or not. This paper describes different ethical choices and the expected effects they may have on the development process exemplified by the product integration process for software products. The different frameworks analyzed are utilitarianism, rights ethics, duty ethics, virtue ethics and ethical egoism. The expected effects on the goals for product integration may be debated. This is a result in it self as it triggers discussions about ethical considerations and increase the awareness of the influence of moral decisions. Our conclusion is that the adherence to specific moral frameworks simplifies the alignment of actions to the practices described in product development models and standards and through this supports a more successful execution of product development projects. This conclusion is also confirmed through a comparison between the different directions and several codes of ethics for engineers issued by organizations such as IEEE as these combine features from several of the discussed ethical directions.

National Category
Production Engineering, Human Work Science and Ergonomics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4118 (URN)
Available from: 2005-11-18 Created: 2005-11-18 Last updated: 2015-09-14Bibliographically approved

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